Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Low-Carb Chocolate "Ice Cream"

I'm trying really hard to behave, and I've found my weakness is ice cream. So... I'm faking myself out.

Popsicles are well and good, and fudgecicles are nice, but having a dish of ice cream is way better.

However, milk has carbs! Like, enough that you should drink a glass of it if you're having low blood sugar to help raise it.

Yes, there are dairy substitutes. Soy ice cream has made me weep in the past because it tasted like disappointment, and my husband and I stopped drinking soy anyway. Coconut milk is great, but it's saturated fatty. However, almond milk is pretty dope.

I've tried making ice cream from almond milk in the past - with real sugar even - but it turned into a brick. I knew I needed to add some stuff to make it creamy without packing in fat and carbs.

Gelatin was my first pick, but I wasn't confident enough in its abilities. Here's what I came up with.

3 1/2 cups almond milk
5 tbsp. cocoa
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup almond milk mixed with 2 tbls cornstarch
1/4 cup water mixed with 1 packet of gelatin
stevia to sweeten (I used about 20 packets)

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the almond milk cornstarch mixture, whisking constantly. Allow to simmer for about 5 - 10 minutes until slightly thickened.

Keep an eye on it because it will want to boil over!

Add the gelatin mixture and whisk some more until everything is dissolved.

Refrigerate overnight.

The next day freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. My Cuisinart machine takes about 25 minutes.

8.25 grams of carbs per 1 cup serving!

I'm sure you could sub your favorite sugar substitute without problem, but your carbs may vary.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Low-Carb Fro-Yo

1 32 oz. tub plain fat free Greek yogurt
zest from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract or caviar from 1 vanilla bean
stevia to sweeten
1 cup of berries of choice, crushed or chopped

Mix together the yogurt, lemon zest, vanilla, and stevia. Make it sweeter than you would want unfrozen, as the sweetness fades some.

Freeze according to your ice cream maker's directions. Pour the berries in during the last 10 minutes of freezing. Freeze for an additional 2 - 3 hours.

11 grams of carbs per 1 cup serving

Foundation Is a Lie

So, I get that some people have skin issues. I completely understand that, just like my insecurities are my whole body, some people hold their insecurities in their epidermis. Blemishes, scars, and huge pores... I get it.

But, not me. I mean, my skin is oily - like OMG, who dipped the girl in a the olive oil barrel. However, I almost never have zits, blackheads, or whiteheads.

When I was about 12, I bought my first bottle of foundation and compact of powder. It was Covergirl clean something or other. It smelled like Noxema. My mom didn't wear foundation as part of her daily routine, but I was obsessed with Seventeen magazine and thought both were required as part of putting on makeup. Spreading it across my face was like covering it in an even coat of flesh colored paint, and it would melt off through the day as my oils accumulated.

At fifteen, I remember putting powder on after gym class and one of my friends telling me it made me look like a powder puff. I laughed at her and should have listened.

Through the years, I've tried so many different kinds of foundation and haven't found anything I liked. At points, I felt so gross wearing them - because they inevitably made my skin feel like it was strangling and ended up floating on top of my skin's natural oils. Without it, I didn't wear makeup.

Then, I remembered my mom. Everyday, she would sit in front of her vanity and put on her blue eyeshadow, black eyeliner, eyebrow pencil, mascara, and blush.

I remembered my grandma, who insisted on drinking apple cider vinegar every day.

I'm oily, and I come from oily people. It's why we all look so much younger than we actually are. I should probably listen to what my greasy ancestors preached.

So, apple cider in, apple cider on the skin, and no foundation.

Here's what I'm noticing. My coloration is amazing. Without the chemicals soaking into my skin and by cleaning my body from the inside-out, my coloring is so interesting. It's white with a drop of gold, a gentle pink through my cheeks. Contouring? F'getaboutit! Who needs it?
No makeup anywhere but my eyes. Some concealer under the eyes. You know.

Also, my skin's oil is way less excessive. Yes, I get super shiny. However, without makeup, I can just wipe the excess off.

I think people are so inured to the idea that what they look like isn't what they're supposed to look like, that they forget to appreciate themselves and instead carve themselves away and cover themselves up until they're completely hidden by what they think they're supposed to be.

Anyway - that's what my stupid skin taught me. Enough insight for a beauty post.

Anyway, I do feel the need to try one of the alphabet creams AA, BB, CC. I don't know which one would be best, but everyone seems to love them. And I'll sometimes use some Hi Def powder if I'm going out to help absorb oil and set my eye makeup a little more.

Of course, everyone loved foundation and powder when I was growing up.

Low-Carb Fudgecicles

1 banana (30 grams of carbs)
2 tbls cocoa powder (6 grams of carbs)
2 tbls peanut butter (6 grams of carbs)
enough unsweetened almond milk to make 2 cups of stuff (less than 1 gram of carbs)
stevia to sweeten

blend until smooth. Pour into 4 1/2 cup popsicle forms. freeze.

10.5 grams of carbs each

I Hate Loving You (Food)

I started this whole blog because I wanted to be able to love food again. Mission accomplished.

So, now I'm all, "Food, I love you! Let's run away together and raise goats." And food is all, "OK, but first let's finish this Chinese food and Heath milkshake." And we do. Then, we don't go anywhere because we're fat and sluggish from all the junk food.

My food addiction - and carb addiction - is so much harder to kick than my problem with Adderall (and other substances) was. With drugs, you get it out of your system, then you get mental distance and clarity, then you appreciate being sober. Maybe you have some backsliding here and there, but if you can stay clean long enough you grow to feel like you'd rather grab some coffee or a fro-yo instead of doing lines in a bathroom. You may even get control to the point that you can use substances for fun once in a while instead of feeling driven to the point of insanity to escape your boring, non-Technicolor, sober life.

But food... You don't ever get to have that distance. You have to eat; not doing so isn't an option. Even if it was, not-eating doesn't feel better than eating (although, I guess anorexics would argue that and there is the whole brain chemistry euphoria of starvation).

You get through the worst of it when you go through carb withdrawal. Obsession. I just want a cookie. I just want ice cream. I want a biscuit. You get through that, though.

Then, you make a conscious decision to cheat. I'm going to have a just a bite of chocolate. One square. I feel good! I feel in control. I had one square of chocolate, and I can stop.

Then, it's an empty chocolate bar wrapper followed by a week of nightly snacks and five pounds gained back. Every morning I tell myself I'm getting back on track, and I'm good all day - then night happens.

And my blood sugar is in control! If it wasn't, it'd be so much easier, but I'm not getting highs. If I was, I'd be all scared, which would help force me back through the withdrawals.

Where is my rock bottom!

So, today I'm starting over. Back on track. Weighed myself, checked my sugar, took all my meds, wrote down everything I ate with their carb counts (it's just the first meal of the day, no biggie). Lunch will be something sensible. Dinner will be sensible. Tonight, I'll keep myself busy so I don't think about wanting a cookie or ice cream or something equally harmful as badly. I'll go to bed.

Tomorrow, I'll wake up and weigh myself, check my sugar, take my meds, write down everything I eat. Tomorrow, it won't be such a struggle to just not eat something I shouldn't. Then the day after, then the day after, each day easier than the last. Days all standing in a row, queuing up to my forever.

I understand one day at a time in a way I never understood when I was abusing drugs. No drug ever had the control over me that food has.

Diet experts argue over the merit of a cheat day or cheat meal. Maybe that works for some people, but it's the worst idea in the world, for me. Food junkie. One cookie is too many, and there's no such thing as enough.

Food is the lamest addiction ever!

My Hair Is Stupid and Will Never Change

My hair is jacked.

So, I cut bangs - which is fine. I got tired of growing them out, and cut them. Bangs frame my face correctly so the top widens, and I don't look like a pear on a body. It was impulsive, but - after a billion bad bang jobs - I finally figured out how to cut bangs perfectly last year (which is something I've found not all hair dresses can do). So, fine. Whatever.

Here's the problem: I still haven't done anything with the rest of my hair.

Historically, long hair with bangs has been HORRIBLE on me.
So, because my hair is thin (and FOINE!), length sucks any volume right out and hugs the hair to my head.

Right now, I have hair that's almost touching my shoulders. I also have an ombre that used to be purple and is now bronze-y and about a year past its expiration date.

The best part of the ombre is the damage it gave the bleached parts, which helps with the volume - though it's frizzy, dry looking volume (I don't use conditioner most days because of my fine and oily thing, just some spray detangler and a mask once a week).

I know I could and should get a cut, but with my length and the bangs, it'd leave me with the same style I've sported for almost a year: bangs with a bob. I was really hoping for a change.

On the bright side, I have tons of new growth - like everywhere!!! Thank you fixed thyroid!

I wanted to see if the new growth would make a difference in whether I could pull off long hair and bangs. I think it's still too short (about two inches) to make much difference.

I guess I'm off in search of a haircut today. Stagnation in hair in the pursuit of change.

Maybe I'll add in some thick, inch-wide, blue streaks. Maybe.

Monday, July 15, 2013

My Aunt Flo Hates Me

It's been well over a month (maybe two?) since my first/last epic period, but the bitch is back, and I've started again. Here's hoping it's not as insane as the last one.

Periods for women of size can be weird. So many of us have various issues - endometriosis (where menstrual lining forms in places other than the inside of the uterus) and Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS for short) being top among them - that either cause or are caused by weight gain, that when we bleed or ever stop bleeding is a crap shoot. Also, just like with our peers at the opposite end of the weight spectrum - the anorexics - our periods may just stop happening until we're a less extreme size.

So, my period disappeared for about a year this time. It happens (to me) on a regular basis (ha! regular). In May(?), I got my first period in a while, not surprisingly after I finally got on my thyroid medicine and regulated my blood sugar. It was the worst I'd had in about 13 years (the other time it was like that was also after I was put on thyroid medicine). It was severe enough that my husband and I debated whether I needed to go to the hospital.

I missed my period last month, but appear to have started again. I'm hoping it's not as bad as the one in May.

I'm also losing weight, which means I'm beginning to worry about pregnancy. My husband and I have both been wishy-washy about whether we want children, which has been a non-issue because I am so extremely fat and not having periods - which means pregnancy is way unlikely. Add to that the scars over my uterus (that's a story for a party!), and we've not really had to worry about protection or pregnancy.

However, with lowering numbers on the scale (I weigh myself everyday, and it's been my biggest motivator) and the resurgence of my menstrual cycle, it's something we might have to rethink (maybe - losing weight doesn't get rid of scar tissue).

Regardless, my period gives me the balls to issue myself a cheat day. I'm making chicken nachos (with homemade tortilla chips and fresh salsa because I'm not some insane person looking to ingest preservatives and shit) for dinner, ate some homemade shortbread cookies (11 grams of carbs each) and might even have a homemade fudge-cicle (11.75 carbs each with peanut butter, banana, and almond milk). I'm going insane!

Where You Been?

So, absentee blogger makes an appearance.

Laziness? Uninspired? Busy at work?


So, quick update: my dog eats cat poop like it's her job, and we only found out because she brought some in to share.

She found us somewhat ungrateful and decided to eat it herself. When we tried to pry her jaws open and get it out, we found it just smeared inside her mouth. We've since noticed that there's no poop in the litter box, so Goldie's doing her part to keep our apartment odor free!

I finally got a dangerous low blood sugar reading! Mission accomplished.

Lost 9 pounds in two days! I think intestinal issues (gross, not talking about it!) are to blame.

My job is once again challenging me, which is good. I spent a long time kind of coasting. I changed management, and am now being stretched. Means less Netflix time, though.

I'm looking through possible fall clothing purchases. The only time I get happy and excited about buying clothes is in the fall. Summer is more a time of wearing as few clothes as possible without being gross, and winter clothes are like fall clothes with more layers.

But Fall!!! Tights and boots and cords and jackets. More layers equals more fashion!!!

So, first up by SimplyBe.

While the description calls it a summer dress, I'm loving the look with a stiff white dress shirt (maybe with a tuxedo collar?) and some tights and a pair of creepers. It's completely something I'd wear in high school - and not because I went to a private school. I just wanted to go to one.

While the cut may be a little dumpy in the waist, it's kind of an effortless look. The description also mentions the ability to tie back to adjust.

SimplyBe's last new dress is this one:
OK - disclaimer, I would never wear this. Not because of the dress, but because of me. I would make a mess out of it. Stains and dinginess - it's not the dress for me.

But it is a great dress! Frothy white lace. Pair it with black tights and some ankle boots? Super cute.

I don't have any other new dresses I want, because other sites haven't gotten any new fall clothes. Get on it, guys! SimplyBe isn't just fashion-forward, they're efficient. Or maybe, since they're based in England, it's just already getting cold.

Also, working on some new makeup looks for fall to go along with my bangs. I'm thinking some smudged brown eyeliner and a dark lip. Yeah, no, been done to death?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Puppies, Exercise, and Ice Cream

Life gets hectic, and I want ice cream.

Last week, my husband and I adopted a dog.
Goldie's story is really sad. She was a rescue dog, and from wherever she came from (we think she was a breeder at a puppy mill), she was shuffled to two other homes before landing with us.

This is my first dog, really. I had a few unsuccessful puppy attempts in my past that made me really reluctant when it came to committing to a dog. Guilt and sadness and regret - it pretty much always ended that way.

But, browsing Craigslist, the ad jumped out at me. I sent it to Jon, and he immediately emailed.

So, she's a well-behaved grown-up dog, but I don't think I was prepared for the life changes that go along with having a dog. Guinea pigs and cats are a completely different world from dogs!

So, this may have been the best thing to ever happen to my diabetes. I take several walks a day. Which is causing my blood sugar to crash. I'm trying to not eat extra carbs to make up for it and, instead, to let myself get low-lows so they'll lower my dosages. Because, you know, I don't want to be medicated.

But, but, but!

All I want is ice cream. Specifically, pralines and cream. Or Heath shakes from Steak and Shake. Or! They have a new salted caramel and pretzel shake there. Yum.

So, my blood sugar is OK, but it could be lower. I could be lowering my insulin intake. I COULD BE LOSING WEIGHT.

Goldie is awesome, but sometimes I want to escape her. Jon and I take rides. To get ice cream.

I have a scale coming soon. Something that will tell me whether I'm putting weight back on, taking it off, or maintaining - instead of letting my paranoia reign.

The biggest struggle with eating is wavering from my routine. Goldie, Jon, and I are working on forming a new pattern for our lives. I just need to put healthy eating back into the equation.